Reviews & Previews - Battle: Los Angeles

Posted on Monday, March 14, 2011 at 06:00 PM

Battle: Los Angeles

Reviewed by: S. Tran

Starring: Aaron Eckhart, Ramon Rodriguez, Bridget Moynahan, Michelle Roriguez
Directed by: Jonathan Liebesman
Running Time: 116
Rated: PG-13

We’re Gonna Need More Bullets

Battle: Los Angeles succeeds because it does not for one minute forget what kind of movie it is. From the opening frame the film stomps on the accelerator and saves itself by keeping the awkward slow moments to a minimum. It’s not the best film of its genre but it is a breath of fresh air from all those serious movies that think we need a bunch of subplots involving people who have nothing to do with the action.

Eckhart stars as Nantz, a marine who is only a short time away from retirement. Of course in movie land this means he will soon be thrust into the middle of the action and soon enough he finds himself helping lead some young soldiers in a war against an unknown enemy that has landed on the shores of Santa Monica. Ramon Rodriguez is Lt. Martinez, fresh out of officer school and destined to play the bumbling, yet in the end, heroic soldier who learns from Nantz.

We also get a few other stock characters including Michelle Rodriguez as the tough talking female, in other words the same character she has played in every movie. Moynahan is thrown in as a civilian veterinarian who is one of the civilians that the marines are sent to save. I was worried the director would have some inappropriate love story develop but thankfully someone beat some sense into him and that did not pan out. It’s bad enough that people fall in love after knowing each other for a few hours in the movies but even worse when they somehow get in the mood while running for their lives and seeing people get killed from vicious, bloody wounds. Why directors think those kinds of things make people randy I will never know.

They kept the focus on a bunch of marines fighting a bunch of aliens, blowing things up, people acting heroically and there are some rah rah speeches thrown in for good measure. If you do this badly then you end up with garbage. Do it even semi-well like they did here and you end up with a very entertaining film, damn the critics.

The aliens in the movie are well done and the sound of their weapons gives you a serious case of shell shock that really helps you feel the danger. We don’t get a real good look at them and from the glimpses we get there is nothing really groundbreaking about their design but the effects are well done as is the action. This is one movie where a lot of the budget went to buying the ammunition for the guns by the truckload and every single round was fired during filming.

Story wise the movie itself had a number of plot holes. Alien invasion movies seem to lend themselves to the same kinds of problems over and over again. But I guess that when you have an advanced race it would be a very short movie if you made it as realistic as it should be, with the humans being crushed in about one day as the aliens check out their new beach front property.

Even with those problems though this was a fun two hours and a nice break from the character pieces out there. If you are not a fan of these kinds of movies this one won’t make you one. But for all you fans out there, good times.

3.5 out of 5 stars.


NOTE: The showtimes listed on come directly from the theatres' announced schedules, which are distributed to us on a weekly basis. All showtimes are subject to change without notice or recourse to